Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Sophisticate's Tradesports

Via Steven Levitt comes Long Bets, a site where intellectuals and well-to-dos (or anyone) can wager on matters of great import, just like when Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne bet John Preskill about the nature of black holes. I like their philosophy:
Long Bets is about taking personal responsibility for ideas and opinions.
You can post a prediction to later be taken up as a bet. The winnings go to charity (because betting is illegal and you may be long dead by the time some of these are resolved.) The best prediction is Brendan McAuliffe's:
The 'many worlds' hypothesis of quantum mechanics is correct and 'quantum immortality' obtains. If that's the case, you will live, no matter how unlikely that is, essentially forever.
Perhaps not the most important, but the most fun to think about. Some are just silly:
As of August 2005 a Democrat is President of the US.
It was made in 2003 between Stewart Brand and Brian Eno. Admittedly, it did sound like a sure thing at the time. Unfortunately very few bets have been made in a while.

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